Just wanted to say thanks for the help over the last couple of months. I'm happy to say I rank #1 on Google and Bing for a variety of keyword searches for my local business and can only expect to continue to trend upwards on other landings pages. This has been a huge help and valuable resource, and saved me a ton of money starting a new business. (We get calls from SEO experts every week for big $$$ packages) We've actually been getting more organic clients than from AdWords etc for the last week or so which is awesome!
I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future but for now I'll just keep plugging away!
Good stuff. Mind sharing a few things that worked for you?
yes please share!
Shared below, kinda long so not copying lol
Sure. As many say, content is king. I've tried to make all my main landing pages 750-1000 words with images and videos. These are the pages I rank best for overall.
First big change I did a few weeks ago was website organization. My profession leads to a lot of businesses using the same type of Content Management System (cms) or hiring a company to do it for them. These companies all organize their site so every page is domain.com/page instead of being organized as domain.com/subdirectory/page so there was no logical organization for search engines even though the menu drop downs had them organized into subcategories for users. For example if it was a home repair business,
Most of my competitors would also just stop at the bathroom page and have a list of toilet, sink, tub and use a combined landing page whereas I have a specific page for each service, so I can optimize very specific keywords for each page. This was a ton of extra work because instead of having a combined page, I had to write something like 10 pages for each service. The plus side is that people search "my city my service" and they occasional get my specific landing page and my common landing page both within the top few results. I also had to create redirects to all of the new URLs. Thankfully the Content Management System (cms) did this automatically or I would have lost my mind lol.
Next was putting structured data on my pages. I focused mostly on breadcrumb lists written into the HTML on page so users/search engines could navigate upwards easily as well. (Plus it's an easy keyword add on your page) So in the example above, the bottom of the page would have something like Home > Plumbing > Bathroom so you can get back to any of those category pages easily. Supposedly this structure will eventually net me sitelinks as well which is huge for click through. Then the site would show up as
www.homerenovation.com Plumbing Construction Electrical Remodeling
Or whatever categories you have.
I've also added ld-json scripts for YouTube videos on my page and tried to markup images. Basically if I'm adding content, I'm making sure it has markup wherever possible.
Link building has been ok, I have written posts for 4 different local companies who have linked back to my website. I know I need to do much more in this area. I also have a monthly recurring guest blog post for one company, which I don't believe SEO cares if I have 1 link or 10 from a site, but may help to drive more traffic my way.
Last but not least has been local directories/citations. Most places I've submitted to say it takes 6 weeks to take effect so I'm not really sure how much of a factor this has been. (I slacked and started these only a couple months ago) Hopefully in another month or so I'm at the top of all the map results as well.
Hope this wall of text helps!
Great start, you're definitely on the right path! You'll build the links in due time. That's the nice part about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as you build authority, you start to accrue organic backlinks! It's pretty fun to watch.
Yeah and at some point I'll have to evaluate if I can monetize YouTube or the blog or if it's pretty much get to #1 on Google and then just build up business until I can open multiple locations. Time will tell!
What do you mean by markup?
Go to the Structured Data tab in Google search console. Or just search Intro to Structured Data. You can add Schema markup to so much stuff on your site. More than I would've guessed. Things that have markup or structured data are understood better by search engines which should result in a preference for your material over someone else's if they don't have markup. It can also change how things are displayed in search engines.
I just sort of lucked out that my competitors don't have it, but I would bet that most local businesses don't know about this stuff and don't have (or prioritize) the budget to hire people to do it. I'm actually outranking some corporations for certain services as well, so I need to figure out how to replicate those results.
Thank you! I'll see if I can add these markups to my content.
Another question , do think nofollowing external links is important? Would it hurt my own website's page rank not to use no follow?
I ask because I've never bother nofollowing affilite links, citations, or any other external link on my website.
Couldn't tell you one way or another. I'm basically a beginner at Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and I just worked off the advice on a lot of people on this sub. I will say that I haven't nofollowed any of my own external links, but most of my external links are either references or business partners, nothing spammy and nothing that's really monetized as of yet. Hopefully someone else will chime in, or try searching the sub for past posts.
Great stuff! Well done 🙂
Now MOST importantly, is it translating into new business? Revenue (and PROFIT!) growing?
Yep! I mentioned that we've been getting more organic clients than paid clients which is really nice. We can probably back off on some of our advertising budget and use that money to sponsor local teams that also give us backlinks etc or just save some money and pay down some of the starting business debt.
Sponsoring local teams is tough to get solid Return of Investment (RoI) (it can definitely be done).
Are you paying interest on the debt?
If you don't want to pay down the debt the learning/speaking with someone who can help you optimise your paid campaigns and also inbound marketing will create much better ROI.
Ensure you're re-targeting/marketing. Automating some contact ect ect.
Sponsoring local teams is awesome, much more of a brand awareness thing than marketing/sales, so don't see it as a straight switch out for Pay Per Click (PPC) etc (in my experience).
Congrats again! Keep learning.
From my limited understanding on local teams, A) it's giving back to the community which is good (and we work with athletes) and B) you sponsor teams that give you dofollow backlinks so you're basically getting a kosher paid backlink with local authority boost. Probably not a solid short term Return of Investment (RoI), but rotate through different teams and over the years it adds up. Again, limited understanding. Also working on ways to sponsor teams through time/service donation rather than strictly monetary.
Debt is currently interest free credit card, will be paid off or very low balance before the interest-free term is up, especially if growth continues.
Retargeting is currently blog posts and monthly newsletter. Probably need to do more with call to actions but at least keeping brand presence.
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is irritating because it seems like I'd have to spend far too much money to see a significant Return of Investment (RoI). There are businesses 25 miles away from me (large metro 300,000+ pop.) that show up for "my city my service" when our local circle of influence is 3-5 miles (city of ~60000+ with neighboring cities of similar size. So I think some companies are just being stupid with their money dumping a ton of money into it without filtering their locations well enough (or targeting the small amount of commuters that do make it that far) so I get outbid for keywords those other business don't even benefit from? If that makes sense?
Why would Google crawl bots be less adept at find content if it's in a subdirectory? I take your word for it, but it seems like Google is missing out by not searching just a bit deeper. Or have I missed the point and all your trying to say is that this way makes it easier?
Thanks for the information though! Seems daunting for me as a independent business owner to organically rank up. This sub has taught me a bunch though.
Sorry if it wasn't clear, I meant my competitors didn't have subdirectories and I added them to my page along with breadcrumb lists and saw a pretty drastic increase. It was really overwhelming to get started but there came a point where I said to myself, "I'm not on the front page so people aren't finding me that way, so no matter what I do, I can't make things worse."
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Someone Opened AMA about SEO Blackhat and Gray hat
The Summary of Discussion 1: Someone Has a Pretty Broad Range of SEO Knowledge. He Answered What People Asked
I've got an experiment that I'm looking to try with article posting on LinkedIn. As such, I'm looking for questions or misconceptions or things you just don't understand in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Digital Marketing, and so on. I've got a pretty broad range of knowledge which makes it difficult for me to lock down on one thing to talk about. So…
Ask me some things. If it is a topic that would fit into my ideas and is in-depth enough to cover in my article experiment… I'll take it and come up with something in a few days. If it's something shorter or won't fit in, I'll do what I can to at least get you started down the path to discovery in the comments.
7 👍🏽3 💟10
HTML 2.0 and how it will affect SEO good or bad?
I don't think there would be a negative effect, but there are lots of things introduced in HTML 3.0 that help define structure, context, and all of that – things that help Google understand things more quickly. So… while in the long run, there's probably not a lot of difference, in terms of getting in there and ranking fast, you want the latest and greatest.
If this had been asked back during that advent of HTML 2.0 and we were comparing to 1.0 I'd say that it probably would have little effect. But Google (and the other search engines) have evolved since then.
ADDED: And I suppose, to carry this to the logical conclusion… using 4 or 5 would be even better still. lol
Kurt Smith Jr. » Truslow
Whoops i'm dumb , I meant HTTP 2.0. : How it will affect your SEO. <sigh> sorry
Truslow ✍️ 🎓
Google has suggested to do it – so they have to be thinking about it. The big benefit is speed – so in as much as Page Speed has value for SEO, HTTP 2 has value.
Do links from publications that are syndicated copies transfer any authority back to your site? What if those syndications have a canonical tag that refers back to the original?
ity isn't really a thing in that sense. Keep in mind that when we talk about "Expertise, itativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT)" the "A" is NOT for "ity" it is for "itativeness". There's a subtle but important difference.
Authoritativeness is something you demonstrate yourself. You don't actually need any authority to demonstrate authoritativeness – and then authority can be given to you by demonstrating it well and consistently.
Now… here's where it gets a bit tricky… Google has said that there is no "Authority" metric that is applied to anything. And, in a strict sense, you don't "build" authority in Google in a way that suddenly makes the next thing you publish automatically have a certain value coming right out of the gate.
That said, there almost certainly IS something in the algo that sums up a bunch of different things and comes up with something that we might look at and say, "Hey – that's Authority" – but it's something that happens on a case by case example. And that's where it gets so complicated that I can "kind of" work it out in my head how it might work, but I could never describe it completely.
But no… there's no "authority" to be gained. Is there "value" – sure. The the links make topical connections to things that will filter back and the canonical should help bring all that back to the original – at least at some level. (It doesn't mean that your original version will ever necessarily outrank the New York Times version, of course).
Clayton » Truslow
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like what you said in a round-a-bout way, is that Google claims one thing, but the outcomes clearly show another. While I understand any authority metric we use is based off of external SEO tools and not Google, one of the most studied and proven ways to gain such "authority" is through link building. Do you agree with that?
In any case, I think I need to clarify my question. Let's say you get a link on a publication that is separate from your site. That publication gets syndicated by reputable outlets, but those syndications have a canonical that goes back to the original publication. Are you saying that the extra syndicated links will filter back topical relevance/authority to the original, and theoretically, that makes the link on the original publication more valuable, which in turn may transfer more "authority" back to your site?
Truslow ✍️ 🎓
Okay… for authority – again… it's not a thing. Domain Authority especially. Domain Authority, if anything, best equates to the PageRank of your home page – nothing more, nothing less. And, because it doesn't calculate those values the same way Google does – then that's not even wholly accurate. But it's as close as it gets.
The authoritativeness (and any perceived gain in what we might call "authority") of a document is just that too – that authority only exists in "on the fly" moments when a certain search term is used in context with that document and the pages connected to it in one way or another. Move to another page with another search term and that authority goes away and gets recalculated again.
So that's why we say that "Authority" really isn't a thing.
Now… TRUST – that is a site wide metric. You demonstrate "trustworthiness" and as you do, Google begins to give you some trust that gets banked and is used later when evaluating various things.
The things you're describing could affect your Trust. Sure. But that provides a different value to you than authoritativeness. And I might contend that it's more important than authority – and certainly more important than what most people think of when they toss out the term "authority".
Is it possible to get traffic and eventually display ads on a pure aggregator website?
No content written. Just an aggregator.
If so, how? Have you seen any cases?
I'd bank on it being possible. But I haven't done it and would definitely be in experimental mode for quite a while. Can't really give an answer besides… maybe. I'm not sure. lol
As for a site that's done it… Google News?
I haven't checked their rankings or even been to the site for a while, but news on The Drudge Report used to come up quite frequently at one point. That's a pure aggregator site of conservative news.
Ankit » Truslow
Yeah , The Drudge Report has good name in this business.
I am working on an experiment myself for this. Three cases:
1. Pure aggregator
2. Pure aggregator news website, will try to get it Google News approved.
3. Aggregator + content site
Truslow ✍️ 🎓
I'd say that the Knowledge Graph and establishing your brand (and what it means) along with categories that Google understands (both broad and more specific) will be the keys. Rich, deep, and accurate schema will be your friend there.
Ankit » Truslow
SCHEMA!! definitely will be a game changer here. Thanks for pointing that out.
Google is excludeding pages with a pase never seen before as I can see that in my Google Search Console (GSC) having multiple projects of different niches and targeted countries.
Same is the case for backlinks, like number of lost backlinks and new backlinks are not growing as rapidly as they used to be, cuz those pages are excluded as well.
I have my own versions of reasons behind it like content quality and proper linking in addition to site speed but any other expert view of yours will be great.
Ty for the post 🙂
This is something we've talked about again and again over the past few months… I'm loathe to go through it again, but… it sounds like it might be a good topic to go over.
In the meantime… search this group for "Paradigm" for a post by Ammon Johns that will give you some good background info on the situation. And then search for "not indexed" and you should find lots of posts with information about this.
Haider » Truslow
No questions but very interested in finding out the results of your experiment when it's done. Hopefully, you'll be able to share. I've run some LinkedIn experiments myself and am always eager to connect dots (or not) from other experiments.
If I use sponsored, will it automatically be nofollowed (Google will not index it) too? Or should I use both?
If a site is getting hammered continuously with any and all Google updates, what could be the most possible reason(s)? (Generally)
Yes. Sponsored, User Generated Content (UGC), and NoFollow all send the "don't follow this link" message to Google.
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